Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend Wind Down With Fiona Lowe

Here to set up your weekend perfectly with The Pink Heart Society we have Aussie author Fiona Lowe - talking to us about the enduring attraction of Medical Romances - with some pics we're sure you'll all approve of... HAPPY WEEKEND!!!

When I was a kid growing up, the lady next door had a complete set of ‘Cherry Ames’ books, which she’d read as a girl. At the time I remember thinking how old the books were but I read them all and adored them. Then at sixteen I would take my doona and hike to the back of the house, sit in an unheated room with the old TV and watch re-runs of re-runs of an old British comedy called 'Doctor In the House'. I think at the time I had a crush on one of the actors...

This addiction was followed by an Australian TV show called ‘A Country Practice’. There was a bush nursing hospital, dedicated staff and a parallel story line of a vet. Romance was always in the air and I loved it!

By the time I was nursing we all used to gather in the Nurse’s Home and watch 'The Flying Doctors' ...all that red outback dirt, the planes, the adrenaline pumping emergency evacuations, handsome doctors and the romance between the staff.

When I was thirty the US television dramas started to arrive. New, high octane medical shows with a LOT of adrenaline and a dollop of romance, piggy backing on the true and tried shows like ' Doctor Kildare' and they were a ratings success.

I quickly became hooked on 'ER', 'Chicago Hope' and today it's 'Grey’s Anatomy ', 'House' and the off-the-wall comedy of Scrubs. Why? Well let me see…Gorin Visnjic, Hugh Lawrie, Patrick Dempsey, George Clooney…all those gorgeous men!

Somewhere along the way I also discovered Harlequin Medical Romances and I was totally hooked with this great combination. I get my ‘fix’ of medicine, which has always fascinated me, AND I get a great romance. So, when I thought I would write a book, Medical Romance was the obvious choice.

Many people say to me, ‘Oh but you have a medical background to write Medical Romance.’ And my answer to that would be ‘No, not necessarily.’

I did a straw poll on Harlequin’s current Medical Romance authors and we’re a varied crew. We have a doctor, we have nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives but we also have a health journalist, a medical secretary, a lawyer, a physiotherapist, a paramedic, a psychologist and a few spouses of medicos.

How much research goes into a book? A little or as much as you want! The Internet has made research SO EASY! You’d be amazed at what is out there. I once needed my hero to do emergency burr holes and I found an article that gave step-by-step instructions! The newspapers frequently have a section on health and there is a heap of information in those articles. Also, by applying the ‘handshake’ rule, you will probably find you’re no more than one or two handshakes away from someone who has a link with medicine if you have a really curly question or if you want to confirm something. I find people are generally very enthusiastic to help a writer...

My current book, A WOMAN TO BELONG TO, is set in Vietnam. I knew squat about the healthcare system of Vietnam, and their health challenges are so very different from Australia, the UK or the US. But between reading travel guidebooks and the Internet, I wrote a book that featured leprosy, puffer fish poisoning and cholera. That was completely out of my area of expertise!

So you don’t have to be a medical expert to write these books. After all, it is the Romance that is the focus….the medical stuff propels the story forward but always the romance is front and centre.

So whether you are reader or writer, if you enjoy Grey’s Anatomy, House and ER, pick up a Harlequin Medical Romance today and get lost in a great romance!

Thanks Fiona - SERIOUSLY!!! What a way to start the weekend!!!

Fiona writes for Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance. A Woman To Belong To is out in the UK NOW and in Australia and the US in December.

To find out more you can visit Fiona at


  1. Get out of town, Fiona! Have you got a camera in my office? That picture of ER's gorgeous Luca is my current screen saver!!!! He's the inspiration for my wip hero somehow miraculously also called Luca ;-)

    And George Clooney. Sigh. I can read your post over and over again for the pics alone.

  2. Oh, actually it just occurred to me that I probably should be saying something profound and interesting about meds. Witty even.
    But what can I say - you said it all and Dr McDreamy leaves me capable of drool only.

  3. Hi Fiona,
    You took me back...Doctor in the House! Robin Nedwell was too cute for words. And then there wass Mark Holden in The Young Doctors (Yes THAT Mark Holden in an Aussie soap). Naturally my tastes have matured since then and you'd be hard pressed to find someone yummier than Gorin Visnjic or George Clooney.

    BUT if people out there want to read a super YUMMY hero, I suggest they buy your book, A Woman To Belong To and read about the very yummy Tom!


  4. Hi,
    Thanks, Serena! I know Tom is a fave of yours. You have just reminded me that I saw Doctor in the House live on stage at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne! But Robyn Neville didn't do it for was the guy who played Mike Upton I think I had the crush on!
    Amy, you go right ahead and drool about Gorin, I know I do :-))

  5. Great post, Fiona - Meds rock!

    What I love about Meds is the drama - and they feel so much like real life because we see the hero and heroine with friends, colleagues, patients. (I love writing them for the same reason - there's a community around them.)

    But I have to reveal my shallow side here as well as my ignorance - WHO is the hero just to the left of Hugh Laurie as House? (I'd guess this is a US drama because I don't recognise him. He's gorgeous. And as I'm about to start an A&E book, he'd be perfect casting material. So please put me out of my misery...)

  6. I love medical dramas whether in films or books and who could argue about George Clooney and Gorin Visnjic! :)

  7. Kate,
    That is the gorgeous Patrick Dempsey from Grey's Anatomy...or Dr MrDreamy as he is known :-)) Go right ahead and use him as inspiration!

  8. What a perfect collection of doctors, Fiona. Lovely!


  9. I have to confess Scrubs is my favorite show on TV! I love the humor :)

    Kate H.

  10. KateH, I'm with you. Scrubs makes me smile but they can also do pathos very well too. Great script writing.

  11. Fiona

    Coming late to your post - sorry. Loved the pictures, even though I haven't been much of a medical drama fan in the past. Will have to give them a try! Also, can't wait to see your new book. The cover is terrific.